***Music Box Members get in free by showing their membership cards at the box office an hour before the show***
Presented by The Chicago Film Society
If Beetlejuice can step into the cap and cowl of the Dark Knight, why can’t John Reed play Chester Gould’s comic strip crime-stopper? A long-gestating project (Alain Resnais was briefly attached to direct) that finally hit theaters after Tim Burton’s BATMAN had fatally altered the blockbuster paradigm, DICK TRACY was the first film to gross $100 million and still be judged a flop. Revisited today, it’s a romantic, auteur-driven take on the comic book movie, and the road not traveled for an increasingly bottom-line-obsessed genre. While Marvel and DC efforts are forever teasing the next chapter in their cinematic universes, DICK TRACY crams in so many incidents and villains (Itchy! 88 Keys! The Rodent! Flattop! Pruneface! Dustin Hoffman as Mumbles! Al Pacino, an Oscar nominee, as Big Boy Caprice!) as to make a sequel unfathomable and mildly nausea-inducing. And no subsequent comic book movie has been as invested in working within the parameters of its four-color source material, faithfully recreated and deliriously explored through Richard Sylbert’s production design and Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography. For all the pyrotechnics, though, it’s mostly an emotionally direct, stirringly simple movie about Dick Tracy fitfully trying to be a better boyfriend. With songs by Stephen Sondheim, singing by Madonna, and spittle-flecked mugging from everyone else.
35mm print from Chicago Film Society collections
BONUS: Preshow Cartoon - Roger Rabbit in “Roller Coaster Rabbit” (Frank Marshall & Rob Minkoff, 1990, 7 mins, 35mm)